Good Idea, Bad Idea — LinkedIn Launches “Apply With LinkedIn” Button

Do you guys remember one of the segments in “Animaniacs” called “Good Idea, Bad Idea”? Here’s a sample of one in case you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Well, that’s exactly what popped into my head when I read Mashable’s article about LinkedIn’s new “Apply With LinkedIn” button. While it may seem like a really good idea (no more dealing with resumes, cover letters), it’s also a really terrible idea (when was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile? Be honest.)

For those of you, and I cannot include myself in this category, who constantly update and maintain your LinkedIn profile, this is excellent news. But for the rest of us (now I’ll include myself) who  only visit our profiles when we get an email about an invitation, this is potentially disastrous.  Click too quickly without reviewing what you’re sending out, and there’s no way to get it back, and that job is going to go to someone who had the good sense to actually look at what they were sending first.

But there is one piece of the aforementioned Mashable article that disturbs me. It says, “The Apply With LinkedIn button is based on the idea that the resume is an outdated relic.” OK. Far be it from me to understate the strength of the digital revolution, but I have to disagree that the resume is an outdated relic. I’m going to the NABJ convention in Philly next week, and the advice that many of the vets gave to students was to print out several (like 20) copies of our resumes. They then suggested that we email our resumes to ourselves in case we run out so that we can forward them. Key words being in case. Not “don’t bring any hard copies at all, just email them.” It was more of a “use your email copy as a precaution.”

Also, let’s think about the benefits of a paper copy vs. an electronic copy. Employers can mark up paper copies, make notes, read them on the train, etc. Paper doesn’t require batteries and Internet access. Yes, the LinkedIn button has the potential to streamline the hiring process BUT, as the article stated, it increases the odds that someone will just hit the button with no regard to whether they are qualified for the job or not. And that, my friends, is bad. Very bad.

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